British broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned Blink Films, a Tin Roof Media company, to produce a fast turnaround documentary special that will examine the fallout to the London factual producer’s previous special on Diana, Princess of Wales.
That one-off film – Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview – revisited the candid BBC ‘Panorama’ interview of November 1995 between Princess Diana and host Martin Bashir, then a relatively unknown journalist, that revealed the intimate details of her private life, her marriage to Prince Charles and her husband’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
However, serious criticisms were cast on the BBC by the Princess’s brother Earl Charles Spencer due to certain revelations presented throughout the doc, and ultimately led to the BBC setting up an independent inquiry into the issues raised by the program.
Sources additionally allege that Bashir commissioned former BBC ‘Panorama’ graphic artist Matt Wiessler to create two fake bank statements in order to secure an interview with Diana, ultimately convincing her to reveal intimate details of her royal life and marriage. Earlier this month, Wiessler appeared in an ITV documentary where he alleged that he was made to be “a fall guy” by the BBC.
Here is the former @BBCPanorama graphic designer who told tonight’s ITV documentary that he was asked by Martin Bashir to create two fake bank statements. Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer says the fake statements were used to help secure that big 1995 interview pic.twitter.com/HTspyznfuK
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) November 9, 2020
Now, Blink will produce The Diana Interview: The Truth Behind the Scandal. The follow-up film will examine the scandal revolving around the original project while also providing further insights from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and royal insiders.
In addition to the two documents already made public, the special, according to the prodco, will also reveal evidence that Bashir presented Spencer with two other forged documents, designed to undermine Diana’s private secretary Patrick Jephson, and Prince Charles’ secretary, Richard Aylard.
The BBC has said it will not be commenting on these matters until its inquiry has run its course.
In late October, the BBC issued news that Bashir, currently the religion editor for BBC News, was “seriously unwell” with complications stemming from the novel coronavirus.
Blink’s Dan Chambers serves as executive producer with Lesley Davies listed as a producer. Andy Webb directs.
The special follow-up was commissioned by Channel 4′s Shaminder Nahal.
“The enormous interest and subsequent BBC reaction to Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview is a testament to the dogged research by our team,” said Chambers, creative director at Blink Films, in a statement. “This new film, exploring the truth about the scandal, moves the story on further with new revelations, reflections and interviews with those directly affected at the time and by the fallout over the last month.”